In what can be described as an “action packed” lead up to the long awaited speech to be given in parliament on Monday by embattled MP Craig Thomson, today came the confirmation of a “knockout blow”
Some of you may have read my report on the tangled web surrounding the Health Services Union HSU, Fair Work Australia, and the Coalition that was published here on Wednesday, it is fair to say more information is coming to light.
The big news is that Michael Lawler, the Vice President of Fair Work Australia, has today been distanced from these issues.
I contacted Fair Work Australia today after anonymous sources informed me that he had been stood down. Initially I spoke to Michael’s PA, who informed me she knew nothing, only that he was not in the office all day.
I again contacted FWA as rumors persisted. late this afternoon I was contacted by FWA’s Communications Manager, Judy Hughes who informed me that Michael was on “Long Leave”. Not Long Service Leave, Sick Leave, or Holidays, “Long Leave”.
She would not expand on this, citing “privacy reasons”, however based on my earlier conversations with both her and Michael’s PA, I was left with the impression that this decision had been taken rather suddenly. I was also left wondering who actually made the decision, as when I asked Judy if Michael had chosen to go on leave, I was told that Judy”did not have that information”.
Reasons for his “Long Leave” are, as yet, unclear — however questions are being raised as to whether it is connected with the HSU investigation in which his partner Kathy Jackson was the Union “whistleblower”. Questions have been raised about Lawler’s relationship with Tony Abbott, and how this may have had an influence on any investigations taking place in FWA which involved Craig Thomson.
The Fair Work Australia investigations findings were also dealt a heavy blow yesterday when the Australian Electoral Commission AEC, found that the vast majority of Union funds used in Craig Thomson’s election campaign had been appropriately disclosed. This has taken the sting out of the tail of both the FWA Investigation, and the Coalitions accusations and calls for Thomson’s vote to be considered “tainted”.
A source, who can not be named, has today leaked to us an email trail that was saved as a PDF document, allegedly by Kathy Jackson, from a computer within Fair Work Australia. The document has Jacksons name in the documents properties, and in the same properties it also tells us that the license for the software comes from Fair Work Australia. This all seems very odd indeed.
We cannot share the contents of this file with you, however what I can say is that involves an angry exchange of emails between Michael Williamson, and several HSU Representatives.
One can only speculate why this exchange may have been saved by Jackson in a file curiously named Kafka, however the date is noteworthy. This file was allegedly created by Jackson on the 6th May, the day before the findings of the FWA investigation were released. This also raises questions as to why Jackson, as the HSU secretary, would have access to the computers of Fair Work Australia at all, let alone the day before announcing its findings on the investigation of her union….
While we are on it, Craig Thomson has been painted as a bit of a delusional man the last few days it’s fair to say. It is hard not to feel sorry for Craig’s family who must be having a hard time dealing with all the extra attention. I also spare a thought for Craig’s staff, who face the public daily in his electorate, as those with other political interests try to act as judge, jury, and executioner.
Kathy Jackson has been touring the country telling anybody who will listen that Craig’s conspiracy theories regarding fiddling credit cards, setting up people with prostitutes, and elaborate private expenses on a union credit card are all nonsense, absolutely unheard of ridiculous stories…
Some of you may have followed my link yesterday to a remarkably similar story from a few years back, if you didn’t, here it is again. It also involves prostitutes, credit cards, and the man being set up was from the HSU.
Here is an small exert:
“The statement of a Bendigo Gold Visa card allegedly issued to Jackson shows expenditure on services that fall far outside his normal duties. It includes a string of prostitutes, designer clothes, dental work, gourmet food and drinks at a favourite Melbourne hotel. Jackson challenges the authenticity of this credit card account and dismisses allegations he has misused any funds as part of a “dirty tricks campaign” mounted by opponents within his union…”
I understand that Kathy Jackson may have not remembered this case, as it was a while ago. Except for one minor detail that I didn’t mention in my last article…. This person happens to be her ex husband. I would have thought she’d remember that…. just maybe…
In the meantime, Kathy Jackson has been travelling around doing interviews, telling everybody that will listen how badly the HSU East branch had been run.
Kathy has spoken out about how her members are doing it tough, as members are mostly made up of low paid workers. Therefore, Kathy tells us, it is sad to hear of members funds being wasted.
I wonder if she has spared that any thought as she spends union members money traveling around giving interviews, not to help members, but to condemn Craig Thomson. I also wonder how much she pondered on members funds when she set her own salary at over $ 270K, making her one of the highest earners within the trade union movement. Maybe it was a consideration when she decided that the Union should supply her a new SUV to get around in…
Once again these events cast a huge shadow of doubt over any investigation that has been done into the HSU.
As this story gets even murkier by the hour, I await Monday’s parliamentary speech by Craig Thomson with baited breath…. There may be some apologies due afterwards….Follow @madwixxy